Categories
Cuba History Politics Truth

On Castro: Turning a Monster into a Martyr

By Representative Julio Gonzalez

Now that the dust is settling on Fidel Castro’s death, it is important that I share some thoughts as a child of Cuban expatriates who fled the island in pursuit of freedom.

First, good riddance! Fidel Castro is one of those historic figures the world would have done better without.

My father wouldn’t have stood a chance in the new Cuban regime. He was in his early 20s and had engaged in the fatal sin of working for the American Embassy. When the Embassy closed in 1961, he went into hiding, quickly rounded up his parents and his sister, and took off. Even though he was a lowly employee in the Embassy, his fate, had he been captured by any of Castro’s thugs, would have been to be dragged out to the streets of Havana, have a handkerchief drawn across his eyes, and shot. Right there in cold blood. No questions asked.

Such was the fate of many of my father’s friends.

On the same evening of the Embassy’s closure, my mother slept on a porch across the street with instructions from her single mother, Josefina Maffiotte, to run into the Embassy, should it be reopened, and seek asylum. She was 18 years old and slept on a slab of concrete with her best friend, Miriam Martinez, waiting for the American Embassy to reopen.

It never did.

Eventually, my mother was “declared” by my family’s patriarch, Manolo Miñagorri, her uncle, and one of the greatest men I have ever known, allowing her to obtain the freedom she so desperately sought.

Freedom Tower

My mother and father eventually met at the Freedom Tower in Miami, the same Freedom Tower where, decades later, Sen. Marco Rubio, another son of expatriates, would announce his candidacy for President of the United States. I was there that day, making the three-hour drive from Venice, Florida, after seeing patients in the morning. It was the first time I had stepped into the Freedom Tower since my mom would occasionally take me to work about 45 years earlier. I was so proud to be there at that moment, I silently wept during Marco’s speech.

My first schooling was in a small school named La Luz, or The Light. It was brought to the United States by another expatriate, Dr. Gil Beltran. My schoolmates were all sons and daughters of expatriates. And every last one of us knew someone who had either been imprisoned or killed by Fidel, Raul, or their sidekick, Che Guevara. For some, it was their fathers who had either been killed or imprisoned, left to continue their lives with only one parent.

Fidel’s revolution was a self-serving power grab for the benefit of no one other than himself. There was no death for the betterment of the human condition. There was no imprisonment because the prisoner was impeding the progress of good governance. Anyone who wears a Castro or Guevara T-shirt, in my eyes, is a bumbling idiot who has no clue of what he or she is espousing; cases in point, Carlos Santana and Colin Kaepernick. And let’s not forget Kevin Costner who agreed to play a character that salaciously uttered a tribute to Che Guevarra in Rumor Has It. For the sake of my reputation and out of respect for all those who suffered at the tip of Guevara’s gun, I would have never accepted the role unless that speech was removed from the script.

Sympathy to the oppressed, not oppressor

Second, I feel deeply for all those who didn’t witness Fidel’s dying day. People like my grandmother Josefina, my uncle Manolo, his wife Concha, Dr. Beltran, Father Luis Ripol, and the countless others who lived the rest of their lives yearning for the day that Castro would die and they could finally return home.

I feel for my mother, who was so effectively separated from her father in Cuba that she didn’t hear of his death until years afterwards.

My thoughts and prayers are not with Castro’s family. For them, I only harbor resentment for whatever role they played in aiding and abetting this most disgusting tyrant.

Castro and the American political left

Third, a few comments about how Castro’s death plays into the self-destruction of America’s left are in order. The left has traditionally positioned itself as the voice of the American worker, of the struggling middle class. They have claimed to be the more sophisticated political philosophers, who believe in open dialogue and solutions through study and the free exchange of ideas.

What a farce we now see that to be!

If there is anything the last few years have demonstrated about America’s left is its evil transformation. It is not tolerant. See what happens to anyone who dares reassert that all lives matter, or simply that the lives of our law enforcement officers matter. Their reaction to losing an election to the person that became their greatest nemesis is shameful.

Because of their loss, they rabidly call for the end of the electoral college while knowing full well that doing so would destroy the concept of a federalist republic upon which our country was built and would serve to silence practically every voter west of Philadelphia and east of San Francisco. They even threaten the lives of delegates who will be casting votes for Donald J. Trump even though Trump won their states. They shout down conservative speakers and threatened them on colleges campuses — once a cornerstone of free speech. They riot in the streets and destroy neighborhoods whenever they have a grievance, real or perceived.

They do everything they can to defend and promote the mass slaughter of unborn children without any signs of remorse, and resist — yes, they actively resist — efforts by groups whose goal is not to prohibit abortions, but to offer women alternatives to electively aborting a baby, such as adoption.

For today’s American left, all that matters is the promotion of their destructive and oppressive agenda.

And when it comes to Castro’s death, they eulogize him with comparisons to George Washington, ridiculously declaring that this monster of a man loved the Cuban people. Yes, in exactly the same way Stalin “loved” the Russian people.

Please!

Today’s left will never ask what it can do for its country. It is only asking what it can impose on others.

The tragic fact is that Fidel Castro died at 90 years of age of natural causes, his bloody footprints deeply embedded in Cuba’s soil and his path of destruction cast upon Cubans and Cuban exiles blessed enough to be living in the greatest, most exceptional nation on earth.

No, my heart is not lighter today knowing that Castro has finally died. My heart is heavy knowing that my family members in Cuba are still living in an oppressive state, and it sinks even deeper when I consider the audacity of those who try to turn a monster into a martyr.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon, lawyer and State Representative for South Sarasota County, Florida.  He is the author of The Federalist Pages, available at www.thefederalistpages.com or at Amazon.  He is available for speaking engagements and can be reached at [email protected].

 

Categories
Christianity Government History Truth

Thanksgiving to God is Our American Heritage

By Representative Julio Gonzalez

Thanksgiving always reminds us of the inseparable juxtaposition between the American people’s fervent faith in God and the nation’s birth. Few documents serve as a greater testament to that close relationship than George Washington’s “General Thanksgiving Proclamation.”

An unapologetic appeal for God’s good favor on the new government, the “Proclamation” was the result of a congressional request — many of whose members were signers of the United States Constitution and were Delegates to the Constitutional Convention.  Such a passionate appeal to our Lord and Ruler of Nations could not be delivered by the highest official of our government at the behest of the legislature without a resounding acknowledgment of the close association between the America’s government and the divine world by the leaders of America’s government.

To this day, George Washington’s “Proclamation” stands as one of the most overt and sincere expressions of faith in the goodness and benevolence of God towards our nation. It makes for a great prayer for American families as they assemble at their Thanksgiving table to recount God’s many blessings and to implore His continued benevolence upon them and upon the great nation to which they dutifully belong.

If you haven’t yet read this proclamation, make sure you do so before your Thanksgiving Day family’s prayer and consider reading it to those assembled at your table on that most blessed and patriotic day.

Have a happy, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving Day.

 

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; — for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; — and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

 And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon, lawyer and State Representative for South Sarasota County, Florida.  He is the author of The Federalist Pages, available at www.thefederalistpages.com or at Amazon.  He is available for speaking engagements and can be reached at [email protected].

Categories
Government Markets Obamacare Truth

Replace Obamacare with Free Market Principles

By Nate Davis

The key to any open market is “price discovery” — sellers competing on price to attract customers. On price discovery hinges every free market economic principle.

The problem with skyrocketing medical costs is simple. There is no price discovery. When was the last time you asked at your doctor’s office, “What will it cost?” Do you shop around for the best deal? Have you ever negotiated for a better deal? If you have insurance, probably not. Would you go to the tire store with the same attitude? Of course not. With medical services, most of us are participating in a quasi-socialist system, the opposite of a free market.  

Taming medical inflation is as simple as letting consumers out of the cages and giving them something for which to fight — specifically, the best price.

The government needs to employ seven strategies to empower the consumer. The simplicity of these proposals typifies free market solutions. Thousands of pages of legislation are not needed.

  1. Combining health savings accounts (HSA) with higher deductible insurance will reward consumers for shopping around and negotiating. Unspent HSA funds could be saved for retirement or withdraw, tax free, at any time as long as the minimum reserve is met. So, whatever a consumer saves, he pockets.
  2. Publish the price of everything. Consumers have to know what things cost well before a service is provided. We expect this of every other service to which we subscribe, and medicine should not be the exception. How could this be done? One idea is that each provider could be required to keep his price list on one or more collective websites where consumers can sort competitor’s services by medical code, scientific description, common name, price, etc. The key is to create a path to price transparency for consumers.  
  3. Legislators should pursue ways to give consumers information about the deals that others, particularly insurance companies and the government, have negotiated with service providers.
  4. The government should encourage non-traditional “insurance” providers, including non-profit insurance organizations and cooperatives. Consumers should be protected from loss in the case a non-traditional provider fails to pay, just as they are with for-profit insurance companies.
  5. Laws should make way for non-traditional services, including call-in doctors, software based robo-doctors and independent nurse practitioners. With disclosure of caveat emptor, liability for these new types of services should be very limited, almost nil.
  6. Certain medical emergencies are monopoly-like situations for the one receiving the service. The most expensive of these services warrant government price control so that returns are reasonable. Common sense says that a doctor does not need to bill $10,000 or more an hour in an urgent, major surgery, for example. Admittedly, addressing situations in which service providers have monopoly pricing power is the most cumbersome policy proposed here, but market principles necessitate that the government step in in some circumstances, and monopolies are one of those.
  7. Finally, increasing the supply of traditional medical practitioners will, over time, reduce fees. Some have suggested that there are simply not enough spots available at medical schools or in residencies.

True competition will drive providers to eliminate waste, and creative solutions will streamline everything from medical record databases to diagnosis to lab work to billing.

In the past, Republican administrations have focused on trying to develop a more efficient market for buying insurance, which does not help. The insurance companies facilitate the system of rapid inflation by creating a separation between patients and doctors. They subvert price discovery. Insurance companies may appear to negotiate for the buyer’s sake, but services are marked up so that they can be marked down. Large mall-based retailers do the same thing. They offer 30-50% of the “regular price,” but no one would think of actually paying the “regular price.” Insurance companies are not the solution to the pricing problem, so slight tweaks to the insurance market will not reign in medical price inflation.  

The free market based on price discovery has been and will be far more efficient and the most fair system on planet earth, and this will be true in medical services market as well. One should not underestimate the power of the consumer.

Nate Davis studied business and economics at Purdue University. He stepped away from trading futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to write a book called God the Parent which will be out this winter.

Categories
Elections Government Politics Truth

The States Have Spoken

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez

Thankfully, the 2016 election is over. The states have instructed the national government about the direction in which they want it to go, and their directive is as clear as it is resounding:

Get the heck out of our business!

Yes. It was the states that delivered the message on election night.

If we look at the popular vote, no candidate got a majority. In fact, Clinton edged Trump by a slim margin on the popular vote (~0.16% of the vote), but only achieved a plurality (47.69% to Trump’s 47.45%). Moreover, a substantial amount of Clinton’s popular support was concentrated in only four areas of the country: New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California. So, seen from the standpoint of the popular vote, the nation arrived at neither a consensus nor a mandate.

Now, let’s look at the results from the standpoint of the states, including Washington, D.C., which has a say in the presidential election. Here, once the final electoral votes are tabulated, Trump will have won a solid 29 states to Clinton’s 22 (56%-44%) with a total of 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232, (56%-44%).

So, whereas the voice of the people was indecisive, the voice of the states was resounding.

The States have spoken.

What did they say?

Get the Heck Out of Our Business!

The overarching priority for the states is maintaining their rights. Translation: push back against the federal government. So, in essence the states told the feds to get out of their business.

More specifically, stop having bureaucratic insiders and media types determine the direction for the country. Stop colluding amongst yourselves. Stop telling the rest of us how to run our healthcare systems. Stop telling us how to tax our citizens. Stop setting up conditions just so that we may earn back the money our people gave you. Stop telling us our children cannot pray in schools because your courts deem it to be “offensive.” (Yes, that’s a quote.)

We’re tired of being told that separation of church and state means erasing all signs of God from the public forum. That’s not the way the Framers intended, and it is not the way the overwhelming number of our citizens want it.

And while we’re at it, we resoundingly reject political correctness (here, take a big dose of Donald J. Trump). And for Pete’s sake, stop instructing us on the proper method of covering our mouths and noses when we sneeze! It’s none of your business.

But this message was not only delivered through the presidential election. The congressional elections delivered the mandate. Recall that the House kept its majority, as did the Senate despite the overwhelming predictions to the contrary.

And in case you were wondering, this opinion was not formulated as a result of a review of polls or surveillance of news reports. Rather, it was delivered to me by the countless people with whom I have spoken in my capacity as State Representative when they shared with me their angsts and concerns for the future of our country.

Having acknowledged the message and its bearer, the question then becomes, what must be done in order to comply with the states’ mandate.

That answer to that question will be coming soon.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon, lawyer and State Representative for South Sarasota County, Florida.  He is the author of The Federalist Pages, available at www.thefederalistpages.com or at Amazon.  He is available for speaking engagements and can be reached at [email protected].

Categories
Government History Politics Truth

The Brilliance of the Electoral College

By Rod Thomson

As it appears that for the second time this century the United States will elect a president who did not win the popular vote, there are the predictable calls for killing the Electoral College. The same thing occurred in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush won the presidency. In fact, this is the fifth time in U.S. history this has occurred.

But as is often the case, the knee-jerk response overlooks well-designed reasoning. In many ways the Electoral College is yet another example of the brilliance of the Founders and Framers of the Constitution.

They purposely avoided a pure democracy majority rule form of governing at every turn. The reason is simple. Pure democracies do not work. Straight majority-rule democracy is sometimes compared to two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. That old saw depicts how a simple majority can tyrannize the minority — and inevitably will.

This is human nature. Mankind could never be expected to act selflessly and self-sacrificially for the greater good, so the Founders built in a tension between the three branches of government that harnessed basic human nature to keep government in check. They believed only a self-checking and self-limiting system could keep the tyranny of human nature at bay. And they actually used human nature to accomplish it.

They employed the same thinking for how we elect our government leaders through a process that ensured presidential candidates had to run in all the country, not just the population centers. This was to make sure that a diverse and growing nation would get representation from all sectors and that a President would have to campaign in all regions and demographics.

Here’s how it works

The president and vice president are not elected by popular vote, but by 538 electors — which is essentially the sum total of the House of Representatives, Senate and the District of Columbia. So there is population representation through the number of congressional districts, and state representation through number of Senate seats. This is the math for spreading out the Electoral College.

So when we vote for president and fill in the oval for our candidate, we are actually voting for the slate of electors in our state, who will then officially vote in December for president. If the Democrat wins, the Democratic electors will vote. If the Republican wins, the Republican electors will vote.

This is why 270 is magical number to win the presidency. It is 50 percent plus one of these electors.

With a straight popular vote, presidential candidates would only campaign in the major population centers along the coasts and some big cities inland. Regions such as the upper Midwest and rural South and western mountains would rarely if ever see a candidate. And worse, presidents would then feel free to ignore the interests of people in those regions. Need to dump toxic waste? North Dakota it is!

But with the Electoral College as the method, North Dakota’s three electors just might matter.

In this system, presidential candidates need to build coalitions and campaign nationally. A regional candidate cannot win nationally. A candidate with a narrow base cannot win nationally.

This creates the phenomenon of swing states, which get a hyper-media focus every four years. But those are not in granite. In fact they change all the time. Florida may well be the longest term swing state going forward because of our in-migration patterns from around the nation. But remember, until 1988, California was a reliably Republican state. Kind of astonishing to think about now. And Texas was as solid blue as the came. Virginia and North Carolina were part of the Democrat South, then became part of the Republican South and now are kind of swingy.

What this means, and this is just brilliant, is that no major party can ignore any state for too long without suffering. Even small states. Remember 2000? George W. Bush won that, hanging chads and all, because of Florida, right? Well, yes. But what is forgotten is that Florida would not have mattered if Democrats had not taken West Virginia for granted. It was a solid blue state, they ignored it, and Bush flipped it. That is what made Florida and its huge electoral count relevant. Yet West Virginia only has four electoral votes.

That is the genius of the Electoral College, forcing presidents to create coalitions, campaign nationally and represent even thinly populated areas. Another grand slam by the Framers that is still working.

Categories
Government Politics Truth

Comey Decision Clarifies Our Sacred Duty on Election Day

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez

Clearly, handing Hillary Clinton the keys to the White House under these circumstances flies in the face of the disdain the Founders had against abusive power by a ruling aristocracy.

In the latest action by a seemingly schizophrenic Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress on November 6, two days prior to the presidential election, informing it that after reviewing “all the communications” involving Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State, Comey would not change the conclusion he expressed in July regarding Mrs. Clinton.  Moreover, the announcement comes on the same day we learned that Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin were using Hillary’s housekeeper, a woman with no authority in handling our nation’s secrets, to print up sensitive and classified emails in Clinton’s home and that the Clinton Foundation paid for Mrs. Clinton’s daughter’s wedding.

But the bigger picture surrounding Mrs. Clinton and our present Administration is one involving collusion, corruption, and perhaps even criminal actions at the highest levels of government.  Not only are there questions regarding the administration of the Clinton Foundation and the nexus between the presumed charitable organization and the official activities of the nation’s Secretary of State, but real and significant doubts are raised regarding the Justice Department’s ability to blindly pursue the delivery of justice under the effects of the brazen willingness by its highest members to indiscriminately interfere with their own investigations.

To say that this crass interference with our nation’s laws and procedures is dangerous to the very fabric of our nation’s foundation is no overstatement.

Indeed, the offensiveness of such a blatant disregard for the limits of authority topped the reasons the Founders listed as necessitating the Revolutionary War. In fact, the very first grievance listed by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence was King George’s refusal to “Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good,” and his “obstruct[ion of] the Administration of Justice” — both of which apply to Hillary Clinton.

Clearly, handing Mrs. Clinton the keys to the White House under these circumstances flies in the face of the disdain the Founders had against the abuse of power by a ruling aristocracy. The difference though is that today, we are blessed with the system implemented by those very men and women who fought so valiantly to radically and unprecedentedly change the relationship between man and state. And whereas the duty of which Thomas Jefferson reminded us to institute a new government in the face of a long train of abuses and usurpations had to be exercised through the tip of the musket in his day, today we can do so through the power of the vote.

In two days, the American people will hold the final say on the future course of our great Republic. One path embraces the status quo and will lead us to confront an innumerable number of situations, each with grave constitutional implications and affronts. The other, although uncertain, holds at least the promise of corrections and of the achievement of greater heights as a people and as a nation. There is no choice that will allow us to navigate between these two diametrically opposed futures.

And although the latter choice may appear as an uncertainty, the former certainly invites the continued destruction of the confidence Americans have in their nation’s leaders and perhaps the peaceful coexistence of the various branches of government.

Seen under this light, Comey’s about-face leaves only one choice, the same one exercised by our Founders when faced with a similar question.  On Tuesday, we must, in the words of Jefferson, exercise our right. . . no . . . our duty, “to throw off such Government and to provide new Guards for our future security.”

That choice is Donald Trump.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon, lawyer and most recently author of The Federalist Pages, available at thefederalistpages.com or at Amazon.

Categories
Abortion Christianity Culture Politics

Is Hillary Clinton the Best Choice to Reduce Abortions?

The Christian Post recently ran a provocative column entitled Hillary Clinton Is the Best Choice for Voters Against Abortion

It’s not click bait. The author means it. And so it demands a corrective reply.

First, we need to understand with laser clarity that abortion is not a woman’s choice. It is a deeply immoral, gender-indifferent act.

Eric Sapp, the author of the piece, does not dispute that and is apparently pro-life. His primary point — other than seeing hypocrisy only in Republicans — is that statistically abortions always rise under Republican presidents and stay steady or decline under Democrat presidents. He claims this makes sense because Democrats are better at reducing poverty — a metric associated with abortion.

Sapp writes: “Abortions rose steadily during the tenure of the first ‘pro-life’ Republican President, Ronald Reagan. They reached their highest level under President H. W. Bush. Abortions then dropped dramatically under President Clinton, falling to 60% of the high under his pro-life Republican predecessor. That downward trend stalled during most of President W. Bush’s tenure, and remained basically flat until the final two years of his term when Democrats retook Congress. And then abortions plunged again under Obama, falling to their lowest point in 40 years.”

This summary paragraph presents several fallacies and a few simple falsehoods. But it is exemplary of the overall dishonesty of the article.

  • First, the statistics are dishonestly cherry-picked. The charge that abortions rose steadily during Reagan is true. But they also rose steadily under Carter, also. Sapp leaves the Democrat president out of his stats because it does not fit his conclusions. The Roe v. Wade ruling was still fairly new and the culture was going through the sexual revolution. That they rose under both presidents makes sense, but he cherry-picked only one. Dishonest.
  • Second, he is factually wrong on his assumption that they reached their highest level under George H.W. Bush, then declined under Clinton. His own reference shows abortions declining in 1991 and 1992. Both years were part of George H.W.’s presidency. Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993 and his policies kicked in in 1994 at best — four years after the decline started. So he is factually wrong using his own citation. Did he and the Christian Post think no one would check? Dishonest.
  • Third, he claims abortions “stalled” under W. Bush. That’s a fun sleight-of-hand way of just flat out lying. Abortions continued to decline six out of eight years under George W. Bush until 2006 — when the housing and banking crisis hit (propelled largely by Democrat lending policies and Republican negligence) and people got very scared. So factually wrong and dishonest. Again.

Sapp uses overarching stats, which we have demonstrated to be totally dishonest, to make a causal point, when the best they can show is correlation. He may understand this, and so he tries to create the causal link by overlaying poverty.

Here is his somewhat snooty case:

“Want to guess which political party is more effective at reducing poverty and unwanted pregnancies? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not the ‘pro-life’ Party that in this last Congressional session alone fought to cut medical care for poor mothers and children, food programs for kids, and contraception coverage and access for women.”

He betrays a lot of his personal politics in this paragraph. But notice what is missing? And it is missing from the rest of the article on this point.

Right. Statistics. He provides no links to any stats. He does not even try to back it up like he dishonestly tried to in the previous paragraph I quoted. Apparently, he actually uses his own fallacy for proof by claiming Democrats reduce poverty because they talk about reducing poverty. Words. Actually using facts, it is clear that Democrat policies do not reduce poverty. We can take a measure of the policies from the Great Society onward and see that after trillions of dollars in transfer payments, poverty is largely unmoved.

But let’s use the author’s admittedly weak method. This chart is from Wikipedia, as his above was. (See larger here.)

number_in_poverty_and_poverty_rate_1959_to_2011-_united_states

Looking at poverty overlaid with Republican and Democrat presidents, we see no correlation. Actually, poverty declined under Reagan, rose under H.W. Bush (recession) declined under Clinton, was flat under W. Bush and actually has risen under Obama.

So it turns out there is a good reason he did not use any facts to back up his smug “Want to guess which party…” sentence. There are none.

This is a wholly dishonest article, from logic to facts to reason. It’s sad that the Christian Post published it as something legitimate.

Categories
Immigration Truth

The Ideological Litmus Test for Immigrants

By Rod Thomson

There has been considerable and legitimate debate over the rightness and efficacy of profiling criminals. Where is the proper balance between good, proactive policing and infringing on Americans’ civil liberties?

But can the same two-sided case be made for profiling visitors and potential immigrants to our country? Not at all. Certainly no case can be made with the same arguments, starting with the fact that they are not American citizens.

Here’s why an ideological test is legitimate and responsible for immigrants and visitors.

  1. It is well accepted that nations have the right and responsibility to control their borders and control who comes and who goes.
  2. Two reasons they have a responsibility to do so are to ensure that people do not enter who want to foment insurrection and topple the legitimate government, or who are known criminals and pose a threat to the population. No one argues that latter, few would argue with the former.
  3. In the case of insurrection, that means that an ideological component must be at work for a nation protecting itself and citizenry. If a person is known to want to create a rebellion against the United States of America, for instance, there will be some sort of ideology driving that desire. And the government has not only a right, but a duty, to keep that person out of the country.
  4. Any ideology that seeks to replace the United States Constitution and its enumerated rights for citizens is by definition an ideology seeking to wholly replace the government of the United States that is derived from that Constitution, and is therefore an ideology of insurrection and subversion.
  5. Sharia law, just as a for instance, is a religious form of government. The Arabic term sharīʿah means a body of religious law derived from prophecy — as opposed to human legislation derived through democracy. Sharia law is set through religion and is governed by religious leaders. As such, it is antithetical to nearly every portion and amendment in the United State’s Constitution — the structure on which the legitimate government of the United States is built. Sharia law is therefore ideologically incompatible with the country and believes in the eventual overthrow of the government by some means.
  6. Therefore anyone who believes in Sharia law for the United States should not be allowed entrance to the country as a visitor or an immigrant.

The same reasoning can be applied to other ideological positions, such as being an anarchist or Mexican “Reconquistas” who believe that the entire Southwest United States should be conquered in some fashion by Hispanics.

This does not mean that if you disagree with an amendment of the U.S. Constitution or oppose with laws and policies you cannot come in — unless your ideology would lead you to criminally oppose them. And it would not apply to heads of state. But if any known or stated ideological belief leads to the overthrow of the United States government, then the government actually has a mandate to keep out people who hold those ideologies.

It is not bigotry. It is not a question of freedom of religion. It is not an affront to freedom of speech. And such ideological profiling does not apply to American citizens. But it is totally defensible as a required filter for visitors and potential immigrants for the sake of American citizens and visitors.

(NOTE: The picture with this post is from Dearborn, Michigan.)

Categories
Culture Politics Truth

Why Negative Campaigning? Freedoms and the Mirror

A recent Republican primary for the Florida state Senate race in a Republican district offered the perfect storm for why people get so frustrated with political campaigns — including local ones. But it was also revealing about who we are and why such yuck campaigns are a constant in a close race.

There were five candidates, four of which were already office-holders and had good reputations in the community. It was a very strong field. Among the favorites in the conservative district, there were really only marginal position differences when looked at from the view of the broad electorate.

Because my family and I are what is known as “super voters” — we vote in all elections — we are targeted with the most mailers. The curse of the responsible citizen. We got up to 12 mailers in a day, with the majority being from this one race. The majority of those were negative. Flipping through on any given day, conservative Candidate A was variously a gray-pictured corrupt mugger of the public trust or a colorfully pictured, trusted family man and veteran. Candidate B was variously a gray-pictured opposer of freedoms who was going to take all our guns away or a colorfully pictured watchdog protecting your rights. Etc. Day after day after day.

Ugh, right?

Oh yes.

The reason? Get ready

But here’s the rub. This is what free speech looks like. It’s glorious and soaring and it’s messy and disagreeable and some people have a bigger megaphone than others. It is the opposite of college campuses with their speech codes and safe zones — a terrifying look at our future. It is true freedom and that is rare in the world. If your first thought reading this is “We should outlaw or ban or restrict XYZ,” you are saying you want to reduce our freedoms. That is not a good impulse.

Always err on the side of freedom. Giving it away is easy. Getting it back is a mountain.

Further, the reason for the unrelenting negativity in campaigning is that it works. And that’s completely on the collective person in the mirror. The electorate — which is not always the other person — can be so relatively uninformed, that perceptions are easy to shape through these simple mailers. It’s why yard signs with just a candidate’s name are so ubiquitous during elections season. Name recognition alone translates to votes. That also is on the collective person in the mirror.

So, the formula is to tear down the main threat to your election through negative ads, send out mom and apple pie pieties about yourself and plant hundreds of yard signs. It’s superficial, it’s tried and it truly works.

So remember next time you get into a gripe fest over negative campaigning; they are done because they work. They can be nauseating and effective. But we allow them as an option because we cherish freedom over government-enforced niceties and agreement. Attempts to clean up negative campaigning through restricting money or any types of speech must result in curtailing some of those freedoms.

Let freedom reign, including its ugliness. It is the best option.

 

(NOTE: I chose ads from the Obama-Romney campaign because neither are running this year and both are demonstrably more decent individuals than this year’s options. Yet both suffered withering negative attacks for the reasons stated above.)

Categories
Culture Media Politics Truth

Rigged Elections? Yes. Think Broadly.

by Rod Thomson

There has been much hot-air hissing over Donald Trump’s continual charge that the election is rigged against him. The gaseous releases come from Trump’s Democrat opponents, naturally enough, the media, also naturally enough, but also many Republicans.

This is an ongoing revelation in this election cycle. The elites (oh for a better word) in the media and the two-party structure separated from the heartlands of America cannot grasp how the ground has shifted under their Guccis.

The shift explains Trump’s appeal, Bernie Sanders’ appeal, even the appeal of the Libertarian and Green Party candidates plus third-party independents such as Evan McMullin, who has a very real chance of winning Utah in the presidential election. There is an almost bottomless pit of frustration with the country, both the direction it is going and the way it is getting there.

The frustration is appropriate. “Rigging” in the common, original sense refers to the system of ropes, cables or chains used to support a ship’s masts. These become part of the mechanism that controls the direction of the vessel. Think in those terms.

It’s almost like everything is rigged against every traditional thought and impulse of Americans, directing the ship of the nation and politics in a different direction. But the yawning chasm between elites (urgh…) in the three culture-moving centers of the nation — Hollywood, D.C., New York — and the rest of the country keeps each group from even understanding what the other is saying.

Let’s see if we can…rig up a bridge.

Before the ground shifted, a rigged election was understood to mean gross tampering with the actual vote. People voting illegally multiple times, ghost ballots sent in and ballots “lost” and “found” (think Minnesota and the 2008 election of Al Franken, where ballots kept mysteriously materializing over months until he had enough votes to flip from loss to win.)

When the elites (culture centers?) hear the charge of the election being rigged, that is what they are thinking. And in that respect, a nationwide rigging does sound far-fetched. Although to be fair, the Democrats and some in the media made that exact charge about the 2000 election where Bush beat Gore after the Florida recounts and appeals up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Selective memory.

But when others say rigged, including perhaps Trump, they are meaning the entire process is rigged. So for Trump — or any Republican — this means that the entirety of the formidable culture-moving apparatus is arrayed against him during the election.

The traditional mainstream media coverage from the alphabet soup of TV networks to the major and minor newspapers, all provide deeply biased coverage — often not even recognizing it. In this election, it is overt. But there is also Hollywood, which pillories Republicans on sitcoms, in movies and on late night shows. The music culture also throws in against the Republican, loving on Gore, Kerry, really on Obama, and Clinton. All these cultural stars have mammoth social media followings and often take to them on behalf of partisan politics. This mammoth assemblage of idea-moving firepower is almost impossible to fight against.

The same dynamic was in effect against Mitt Romney — perhaps the most opposite man from Trump that you can get. Yet this exceedingly decent man was also demonized (as was John McCain and George W. Bush) by the cultural centers.

And finally there is the university system where Democrat professors outnumber Republican up to 11 to 1, according to a study published in Econ Journal Watch. That system churns out millions of indoctrinated students voting Democratic at a rate of about 4 to 1.

So, in this broad sense, yes, the entire election process is rigged and rigged heavily against the Republican. That Republicans actually win sometimes approaches the miraculous.

The “professional” media particularly will tut-tut about using the word “rigged.” Trump is truly incautious with word choice. But a lot of Americans know what he is talking about. And it is that very elitist tut-tutting that makes them so distant and betrays their insularity. Out of touch does not do it justice.

There are deep dynamics running beneath our nation like fault lines. Use of the word “rigged” is just a little tectonic friction along those fault lines.